The Unknown God: Nine Steps to Pentecost

Day seven

John the Evangelist by Bartholomeus Spranger; public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Let’s learn to know the Holy Spirit better during these nine days before Pentecost. Here is the seventh step.

Chapter four of St. John’s first letter contains a teaching about the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of antichrist. Antichrist means against Christ, opposed to the teaching of Christ. To avoid becoming antichrist, we need to remain rooted in the love of the Holy Spirit.

St. John says that the spirit of antichrist does not acknowledge and does not recognize that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. But if we have the spirit of Christ, we believe that Jesus has come into the world as one of us. This means much more than just saying, “Yes, I believe.” Do I live my life as if I believe that Jesus has come into the world and taught us how to live in his Spirit?

How do we know if we are living in the Spirit of Christ? St. John gives us these tests: Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. (1 John 4:7) If we love one another, God remains in us. (4:12) If anyone says, “I love God” but hates his brother, he is a liar. (4:20) Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (4:21)

Why does St. John repeat his words over and over again? It is said that when St. John preached, he would only say, “Little children, love one another.” Finally, his listeners asked him if he could preach a different sermon. He replied, “When you are loving one another, I’ll preach a different sermon.”

As long as we are not living the commandment of love, there is a spirit of antichrist in us. Ask the Spirit of Christ to make you live in his Spirit, the Spirit of love.

The seventh day of a novena to the Holy Spirit:

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

Come, Holy Spirit, and drive all evil from me so that I may live in perfect love. Amen.